Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016's textbook-free Intro to BioAnth course

This is an abridged syllabus for my course this fall. Apologies for any formatting issues, but copying and pasting from Word into Blogger isn't a party. For background on my textbook-free approach and overall philosophy for teaching evolution, please see this post and the links therein.  Cheers to all you learners, teachers, and professors!




Fall 2016
APG 201: Human Origins and Evolution
3 credits
Dr. Holly Dunsworth

Course Description
The biocultural evolution of humans. An investigation into humankind’s place in nature, including a review of the living primates, human genetics and development, evolutionary theory, and the human fossil record. Fulfills both the General Education outcomes A1 (STEM knowledge) and B4 (information literacy).

Required reading 
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being by Alice Roberts
Additional articles are linked in the syllabus, or posted on our course site on Sakai

Non-required reference
Biological Anthropology, 3rd Edition by Stanford, et al. (2013, Pearson) – standard textbook (a copy is on reserve at the library, along with Shubin and Roberts)

Quizzes 1, 2, and 3 (15% each); Research Project (15%; a two part exercise in information literacy, evolutionary thinking, and writing); Portfolio (40%; a thin folder or binder containing all the assignments in chronological order.) 


Schedule
Unit 1. Observe and Explain - This view of life. Our place in nature. What is the anthropological perspective? What about the biocultural? What is the scientific approach to understanding human origins? What is a human? What are human traits? How do humans fit on the Tree of Life? What is evolution?
7-Sep       1.1-Introduction to course (reflecting on knowledge to spark semester)
9-Sep 1.2-Overview of course (syllabus, anthropology, etc...)
12-Sep 1.3-Scientific process  
14-Sep 1.4-Linnaeus and the Order Primates 
16-Sep 1.5-Overview of Primate taxonomy; Diet 
19-Sep 1.6-Primate locomotion and encephalization
21-Sep 1.7-Primate tool use and communication
23-Sep 1.8-Primate sociality
26-Sep 1.9-Evolution and Darwin's evidence
28-Sep 1.10-Phylogeny
30-Sep 1.11-no class today
3-Oct 1.12-Modern evidence Darwin wishes he had
5-Oct Quiz 1

Unit 2. Explain and Predict - Explaining the similarities and differences. How evolution works. Why are we like our parents but not exactly? Why are we like other species but not exactly? How did human traits and human variation evolve? How does evolution occur? How do we know what the last common ancestor (LCA) was like?
7-Oct 2.1-Inheritance and gene expression, 1
10-Oct n/a-Columbus Day, classes do not meet
12-Oct 2.2-Inheritance and gene expression, 2
14-Oct 2.3-Inheritance and gene expression, 3
17-Oct 2.4-Mutation and gene flow
19-Oct 2.5-Natural selection
21-Oct 2.6-More natural selection; Genetic drift
24-Oct 2.7-Malaria resistance and lactase persistence
26-Oct 2.8-Building evolutionary scenarios
28-Oct 2.9- Origins of Bipedalism; Species and speciation 
31-Oct 2.10 -Genomics, molecular clocks, and the LCA
2-Nov Quiz 2 -

Unit 3. Test and Observe - Evolving humans, past and present. Ancient evidence for our extinct hominin relatives. Modern human origins and variation. The cultural controversy over evolution.How did human traits evolve? How and why do humans vary? Should we look to our ancestors as a lifestyle guide? Are we still evolving? Is evolution racist? Why is human evolution misunderstood and why is it controversial? 
4-Nov 3.1-The LCA and the earliest hominins
7-Nov 3.2-Australopithecus
9-Nov 3.3-Paranthropus  (Research Project Part 1, due to Sakai by 9 am)
11-Nov n/a-Veteran's Day, classes do not meet 
14-Nov 3.4-earliest Homo  
16-Nov 3.5-Homo erectus
18-Nov 3.6-Neanderthals
21-Nov 3.7-Anatomically modern Homo sapiens
23-Nov 3.8-no class today (Research Project Part 2 due to portfolio)
25-Nov n/a-Thanksgiving Break, classes do not meet
28-Nov 3.9-The origins and evolution of human skin color variation
30-Nov 3.10-The origins and evolution of human skin color variation
2-Dec 3.11-The origins and evolution of human skin color variation
5-Dec 3.12-The origins and evolution of human skin color variation
7-Dec 3.13-The origins and evolution of human skin color variation
9-Dec 3.14-Race, racism and the cultural controversy over evolution
12-Dec 3.15-Conclusions (Portfolios due at the start of class today)
14-Dec Quiz 3 (During time of final exam)

Portfolio Assignments and Lecture Resources
1.1   
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 1: Beginnings - Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In-class assignment
Additional resources
·         “Do animals know where babies come from?” by H. Dunsworth (Scientific American)- Located on Sakai

1.2
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 2: Heads and brains – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        Osteology and comparative anatomy worksheet - Located on Sakai
Additional resources
·        What is it like to be a biological anthropologist? A Field Paleontologist's Point of View – Su (Nature Education)
·        Notes from the Field: A Primatologist's Point of View – Morgan (Nature Education)
·        Expedition Rusinga (video; 8 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y1puNyB9e8  
·        The ape in the trees – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
·        How Do We Know When Our Ancestors Lost Their Tails? (video; 4 min)

1.3
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        How Science Works (video; 10 min):
·        Understanding science: How Science Works, pages 1-21; starts here:
·        Carl Sagan’s Rules for Critical Thinking and Nonsense Detection
·        10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing
Portfolio Assignment
·        Scientific Process worksheet - Located on Sakai

1.4
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        Characteristics of Crown Primates – Kirk (Nature Education)
Portfolio Assignment
·        Primate Expert worksheet - Located on Sakai

1.5
Reading/viewing
·        Many primate video clips –Posted on Sakai
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Write about your primate video viewing experience, for example, you might write about what you saw, at face value, or you might want to write about what defied your expectations or what surprised you, or what you would like to learn more about. Also: Without looking at any resources except for these films, come up with some categories for the different types of primate locomotion, give those categories names and definitions, and list which species in the films fall into which categories you’ve created.
Additional resources
·        Old World monkeys – Lawrence and Cords (Nature Education)


1.6      
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 3: Skulls and senses – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapter and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Primate locomotion – Gebo (Nature Education)

1.7
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 4: Speech and gills - Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapter and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Primate Communication – Zuberbuhler (Nature Ed)

1.8
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        The Human Spark 2 (video; 55 mins)
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Reflect on The Human Spark 2, highlighting something you already knew and also something you learned that was brand new to you. What is the human spark?
Additional resources
·        Peace Among Primates – Sapolsky (The Greater Good)
·        What Influences the Size of Groups in Which Primates Choose to Live? – Chapman & Teichroeb (Nature Ed)
·        Primate Sociality and Social Systems – Swedell (Nature Ed)
·        Primates in communities – Lambert (Nature Ed)

1.9
Assigned  Reading/viewing
·        Two chapters from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: "Voyage…" (p. 71-81 ) and "An account of how several books arose" (p. 116- 135)
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: According to your impression of Darwin’s writings, what circumstances or experiences influenced Darwin's thinking?

1.10
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        Reading a phylogenetic tree – Baum (Nature Ed)
·        Trait Evolution on a Phylogenetic Tree – Baum (Nature Ed)
Portfolio Assignment
·        Phylogeny worksheet - Located on Sakai

1.11
Assigned  Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 5: Spine and segments – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapter and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.

1.12
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 1: Finding Your Inner Fish - Shubin
·        YIF, Chapter 2: Getting a Grip - Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: What does Shubin mean by "your inner fish"? What's the connection between a fish’s fin and your hand? How could you falsify evolutionary theory?
Additional resources
·        Amazing Places, Amazing Fossils: Tiktaalik (video; 5 mins)
·        The Ancient History of the Human Hand (video; 4 mins)


2.1
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 3: Handy Genes – Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: What the heck is this Sonic hedgehog thing that Shubin’s talking about?

2.2
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 4: Teeth Everywhere – Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Teeth make better fossils than bones and so they preserve more often and fill up the fossil record. If you want to do paleontology, you need to get excited about teeth. Why are teeth exciting?
Additional resources
·        The Evolution of Your Teeth (video; 3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohq3CoOKEoo
·        Developing the Chromosome Theory – O’Connor (Nature Ed)
·        Genetic Recombination – Clancy (Nature Ed)
·        What is a Gene? Colinearity and Transcription Units – Pray (Nature Ed)
·        RNA functions – Clancy (Nature Ed)

2.3
Assigned reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 5: Getting ahead – Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: What does Shubin mean by your "inner shark"?
Additional resources
·        Our Fishy Brain (video; 2.5 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207797/
·        Hox Genes in Development: The Hox Code – Myers (Nature Ed)
·        Gregor Mendel and the Principles of Inheritance – Miko (Nature Ed)
·        Mendelian Genetics: Patterns of Inheritance and Single-Gene Disorders – Chial (Nature Ed)
·        Phenotypic Range of Gene Expression: Environmental Influence – Lobo & Shaw (Nature Ed)
·        Genetic Dominance: Genotype-Phenotype Relationships – Miko (Nature Ed)
·        Pleiotropy: One Gene Can Affect Multiple Traits – Lobo (Nature Ed)
·        Polygenic Inheritance and Gene Mapping – Chial (Nature Ed)

2.4
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 6: The Best-Laid (Body) Plans - Shubin
·        YIF, Chapter 7: Adventures in Bodybuilding – Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: What are Hox genes and, according to Shubin, what do they have to do with linking a fruit fly to you? What is one benefit to being a sponge?
Additional resources
·        Evolution Is Change in the Inherited Traits of a Population through Successive Generations – Forbes and Krimmel (Nature Ed)
·        Mutations Are the Raw Materials of Evolution – Carlin (Nature Ed)

2.5
Portfolio Assignment
·        Scenario building assignment (Part 1) - Located on Sakai
Additional Resources
·        Natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow do not act in isolation in natural populations – Andrews (Nature Ed)
·        Sexual selection – Brennan (Nature Ed)

2.6
Portfolio Assignment
·        Wisdom tooth assignment - Located on Sakai
Additional Resources
·        Neutral Theory: The null hypothesis of molecular evolution – Duret (Nature Ed)
·        Negative selection – Loewe (Nature Ed)
·        On the mythology of natural selection. Part I: Introduction – Weiss (The Mermaid’s Tale)
·        On the mythology of natural selection. Part II: Classical Darwinism– Weiss (The Mermaid’s Tale)
·        Secrets of Charles Darwin’s Breakthrough -  Bauer (Salon)

2.7
Portfolio Assignment
·        Scenario building assignment (Part 2) - Located on Sakai
Additional resources
·        Natural Selection: Uncovering Mechanisms of Evolutionary Adaptation to Infectious Disease – Sabeti (Nature Ed)

2.8
Assigned reading/viewing
·        Evolution is the only natural explanation – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
·        The F-words of Evolution  – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
·        Another F-word of evolution  – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
Portfolio Assignment
·        Scenario building assignment (Part 3) - Located on Sakai
Additional resources
·        Mutation not natural selection drives evolution –  Tarlach (about Nei; Discover Magazine)

2.9
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 8: Making Scents - Shubin
·        YIF, Chapter 9: Vision - Shubin
·        YIF, Chapter 10: Ears – Shubin
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: After reading the Shubin chapters… Is it fair to say that when you smell something, that something is touching your brain? Why is it called the eyeless gene if you can have it and still have eyes? How does hearing work? What does your ear do besides hear, and how? What does drinking lots of alcohol do to your ears?
Additional resources
·        Finding the Origins of Human Color Vision (video; 5 mins)
·        We Hear with the Bones that Reptiles Eat With (video; 4 mins)
·        Why should we care about species? – Hey (Nature Ed)
·        Speciation: The origin of new species – Safran (Nature Ed)
·        The maintenance of species diversity – Levine (Nature Ed)
·        Macroevolution: Examples from the Primate World – Clee & Gonder (Nature Ed)
·        Primate Speciation: A Case Study of African Apes – Mitchell & Gonder (Nature Ed)

2.10
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        Things Genes Can’t Do – Weiss and Buchanan (Aeon)
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Reflect meaningfully on the Weiss and Buchanan article and highlight something that you already knew, but also the things that you learned that are brand new to you.
Additional resources
·        The Onion Test – Gregory (Genomicron)
·        The Molecular Clock and Estimating Species Divergence – Ho (Nature Ed)
·        Lice and Human Evolution (video; 11 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/1790635347/
·        Planet without apes? – Stanford (Huffington Post)

3.1
Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 6: Ribs, lungs and hearts– Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        How to Become a Primate Fossil – Dunsworth (Nature Ed)
·        Dating Rocks and Fossils Using Geologic Methods – Peppe (Nature Ed)
·        Desktop Diaries: Tim White (video; 7 mi– Posted on Sakai)
·        Ancient Human Ancestors: Walking in the woods (video; 4 mins)
·        Overview of hominin evolution – Pontzer (Nature Ed)
·        The Earliest Hominins: Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardipithecus - Su (Nature Ed):

3.2
Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 7: Guts and yolk sacs – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Lucy (video; 5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8Lkk6u-wQM
·        Trowelblazers (blog): http://trowelblazers.com/  
·        An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (blog): http://www.ellencurrano.me/blog/
·        Lucy: A marvelous specimen – Schrein (Nature Ed)

3.3
·        By 9 am this morning, upload Research Project Part 1 to Sakai (so there is nothing to do today for your Portfolio)
Additional resources
·        The "Robust" Australopiths – Constantino (Nature Ed)

3.4
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 8: Gonads, genitals and gestation – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Ancient Hands, Ancient Tools (video; 5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ew9J8lpwo
·        A Primer on Paleolithic Technology – Ferraro (Nature Ed)
·        Evidence for Meat-Eating by Early Humans – Pobiner (Nature Ed)
·        Archaeologists officially declare collective sigh over “Paleo Diet”

3.5
Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 9: On the nature of limbsRoberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Homo erectus - A Bigger, Smarter, Faster Hominin Lineage – Van Arsdale (Nature Ed)

3.6
Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 10: Hip to Toe – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
·        Archaic Homo sapiens – Bae (Nature Ed)
·        What happened to the Neanderthals? – Harvati (Nature Ed)
·        Neanderthal Behavior – Monnier (Nature Ed)

3.7
Reading/viewing
·        IUB, Chapter 11: Shoulders and Thumbs – Roberts
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution
Additional resources
·        The Transition to Modern Behavior – Wurz (Nature Ed)
·        The Neanderthal Inside Us (video; 4 mins)
·        Anthropological genetics: Inferring the history of our species through the analysis of DNA – Hodgson & Disotell (Evolution: Education and Outreach)
·        Testing models of modern human origins with archaeology and anatomy – Tryon & Bailey (Nature Ed)
·        Human Evolutionary Tree – Adams (Nature Ed)
·        Paternity Testing: Blood Types and DNA – Adams (Nature Ed)

3.8
Portfolio Assignment
·        Print Research Project Part 2 and include it here

3.9
Assigned reading/viewing
·        Understanding Race: http://www.understandingrace.org/
Portfolio Assignment
·        Peruse the whole site then take the Human Variation Quiz at Understanding Race and record the correct answers (just the letters suffice).
(Plus whatever we accomplished in class in the Skin Color workbook and any homework I assigned to do with it.)
Additional Resources
·        Human Skin Color Variation (NMNH): http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics/skin-color

3.10
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Describe all the factors you can think of that contributed to the skin color you have today, right now. Would you be answering this question, in this course, if your skin color were different? Why or why not?
(Plus whatever we accomplished in class in the Skin Color workbook and any homework I assigned to do with it.)

3.11
Assigned reading/viewing
·        Humans never stopped evolving – Hawks (The Scientist)
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: Are we still evolving? Why is this a question?
(Plus whatever we accomplished in class in the Skin Color workbook and any homework I assigned to do with it.)
Additional resources
·        We are not the boss of natural selection – Dunsworth (io9)

3.12
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: After re-reading the essay you wrote in class on Day 1.1 ("What is evolution?") compose a letter to yourself highlighting what you were right about and what you were wrong about or what was incomplete about your answer based on what you learned this semester.
(Plus whatever we accomplished in class in the Skin Color workbook and any homework I assigned to do with it.)

3.13
Portfolio Assignment
·        The complete student workbook for the Smithsonian’s “Evolution of Human Skin Color” curriculum (as much as we covered in class from days 3.9-3.13) - You should have already obtained and printed the workbook from Sakai for classroom work starting on 3.9. Here's where it lives publicly: http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/teaching-evolution-through-human-examples

3.14
Assigned Reading/viewing
·        From the Belgian Congo to the Bronx Zoo (NPR)
·        A True and Faithful Account of Mr. Ota Benga the Pygmy, Written by M. Berman, Zookeeper – Mansbach
·        In the Name of Darwin – Kevles (PBS) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/darwin/nameof/
·         Human Races May Have Biological Meaning, But Races Mean Nothing About Humanity – Khan (Discover blogs)
·        Are humans hard-wired for racial prejudice?  - Sapolsky (LA Times)
Portfolio Assignment
·        In a half-page or more: What’s the link between racism and evolution? Is Ota Benga’s treatment justified by evolutionary theory? Is evolutionary theory racist?

3.15 – SUBMIT ENTIRE PORTFOLIO (including this assignment) AT THE START OF CLASS TODAY
Reading/viewing
·        YIF, Chapter 11: The Meaning of It All – Shubin
·        IUB, Chapter 12: The Making of Us - Roberts
·        Evolution reduces the meaning of life to survival and reproduction... Is that bad? – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
Portfolio Assignments
·        In a half-page or more: Briefly describe what you learned this semester and what, if anything, it means to you. Also, be sure to reflect on what you're still left wondering and describe how you could find the answers to your remaining questions.


Extra credit!!! Make a time machine then go back to the start of the semester, attend classes, take notes, read all of the things, think about all of the things, complete the assignments, and study for the quizzes.


You are a Homo sapiens. We are all Homo sapiens
And no Homo sapiens who doesn’t know their species will be given a letter grade for this course.